After a big 4-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday night in Washington, the Capitals will look to keep their momentum going into the new week. The Capitals (9-7-1) will welcome Connor McDavid and the struggling Edmonton Oilers (6-9-1) to D.C. on Sunday evening. Puck drop is at 7 PM ET on NBC Sports Washington.
After many thought Edmonton would be a Stanley Cup contender this season, the Oilers have struggled in the first month of the season.
The Edmonton Oilers are currently on a 4-game Eastern road trip, and they have had mixed results. After winning their first two games in overtime against the Islanders and Devils, the Oilers dropped their last game to the New York Rangers 4-2 on Saturday night.
While the Oilers collectively have struggled, Connor McDavid is still putting out the points. McDavid has 7 goals and 19 points in 16 games. McDavid is an electric player, that can bring fans out of their seats. Leon Draisaitl is another player who is a dangerous threat for the Oilers. While he missed some games early, he has 12 points in 12 games played.
The Capitals played one of their most complete games of the season against Pittsburgh on Friday night. The Capitals went 2/6 on the powerplay, and they kept Pittsburgh at 0/4 on their powerplay. Most importantly, the win versus Pittsburgh gave Braden Holtby his 200th career win, which is an outstanding achievement.
There is some good news for the Capitals on the injury front. It appears that Tyler Graovac and Matt Niskanen may be getting close to returning. Off the injury list now is Brett Connolly, who is expected to play versus the Oilers on Sunday evening.
It is good that the Capitals are getting healthy at the right time. While the Metropolitan Division race is tight, the Capitals are still on the outside looking in with the playoff picture. Entering Sunday, only 6 points separates the top team (New Jersey) to the bottom team (Carolina) in the Metropolitan Division.
With the Capitals health improving, they should begin to find their groove and consistency. After the game versus Edmonton, the Capitals will have a busy week ahead. They will head out west and face Nashville and Colorado before returning back home to face Minnesota next Saturday. The Capitals will have a lot of home cooking coming up after that, which is something they will need to take advantage of. If the health continues to improve, and the special teams continues to perform well, the Capitals have a good shot at shooting back up in the standings.
A LOOK BACK IN TIME
The Washington Capitals defeated the Edmonton Oilers 5-2 a few weeks ago on their western Canada road swing. Evgeny Kuznetsov scored a beautiful goal in that game.
In 319 games, Braden Holtby is the second-fastest goaltender ever to reach 200 career wins (Dryden: 311), and the fastest since the 2005-06 season. pic.twitter.com/J1LCYoEDK1
— CapitalsPR (@CapitalsPR) November 11, 2017
By: George Foussekis